When you winterize your sprinkler system, a homeowner needs to determine and understand the kind of system being installed. Proper maintenance and care in the months of fall help prevent heartache over broken valves, ruined seals and cracked pipes in spring season. Damage to your underground irrigation system is very expensive to repair and may need a big portion of your yard to be dugout in order to locate the issue.
Most sprinkler systems have a built-in automatic or manual drain valve which uses gravity to run water from the water pipes. Yet the thin tubes used in the irrigation systems has a possibility to sink and shift as time passes by. This movement allows the water to pool within the pipes. As a matter of fact, any water that is being left behind has the tendency to damage the metal as well as plastic with the irrigation because it expands in freezing or cold temperatures.
Winterizing is easy to understand and most DIY people already have their own needed tools and equipment for the task. In order to totally get rid of the water from the irrigation system, a purge should be done with the use of compressed air. The following are some steps to totally clear your sprinkler system:
1. Power Off Your Water Supply
All sprinkler systems have a primary shut off valve. For safety purposes, it is usually buried underground in a valve crate or located in a crawlspace, or basement. Valve boxes are buried at least 5 feet below the ground and may need a long key to power off. If the main key can’t be placed, call up a professional service provider which installed your system or the manufacturer itself to obtain the appropriate replacement.
The shut-off cock must turn easily. Do not make a forceful turn as it can cause loose threading or damage to your valve. Just turn the shut-off cock to the off position. In addition to that, if your system runs by pump, this will basically need to be stored indoors, disconnected and drained for the winter months. If it’s not a removable kind, wrap it in an insulated blanket to prevent freezing. This can be bought at any local hardware store and is the same to insulation materials for hot water heaters.
2. Purge the Backflow Equipment
Systems which operate from community water often have one of two sorts of backflow equipment; a Pressure Vacuum Breaker or an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker. Pressure vacuum breaker is sometimes termed as reduced pressure device. If your system is supplied with owned water, inspect your installation plan. If there’s no backflow device installed, then you can skip this method.
3. Drain Your System
Compressed air is actually a great way to make sure all water is drained from the valves and pipes in the downstream. Both air volume and pressure should reach a certain degree to totally purge the system. Use 2 cycles of compressed air to totally blow out each zone. Contact a professional sprinkler repair company to know more.